Our Lady of Clonfert
An original late thirteenth- / early fourteenth-century carved polychrome statue of the Madonna and Child is preserved in the Catholic church in Clonfert, Co. Galway. It likely originated at the Arroasian Convent that was originally located in the townland of Nuns Acre. This site was later the site of a pre-Emancipation Catholic Chapel. The painted statue stands to 4′ in height. It is carved from a solid oak block. The back is hollowed out to allow for shrinkage during the initial drying process. The left arm is missing from the Virgin Mary. It was supposedly severed by men felling a tree within which it was believed to be discovered. Blood was said to have issued from the saw cut alarming the men to the presence of the statue. It is now on display in the Catholic chapel in Clonfert and is the focus of a large annual pilgrimage that takes place during the month of May, the month dedicated to Mary.
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